When I was planning my home office makeover, I knew I wanted an accent wall. I’ve kept a pretty neutral tone throughout our entire house. We have dark wood floors, light blue/gray walls, and bright white trim. I’ve accented with shades of blue and green and love how calm and welcoming our home feels. In my home office/craft room, I wanted something bright, colorful, and fun. I wanted a room that reflected my personality and would make me happy every time I walked in. I originally considered wall paper, and found several beautiful options. Unfortunately, it was WAY out of my price range. I also liked the idea of something that wasn’t permanent. Enter my DIY FABRIC COVERED WALL!
My office is done! I’ve spent the past few weeks cleaning, organizing, and customizing my home office. In my true fashion, all of the projects have been DIYs! The first week of the One Room Challenge I shared an Introduction with my plan, some inspiration, and before photos of the space. The 2nd week I shared my first project: a DIY Peg Board. I used a huge picture frame and added a peg backing so I could organize many of my craft tools. The 3rd week of the challenge coincided with a high stress time in our home: my husband lost his job. I put the challenge on hold that week. Week 4 it was back to business and I shared more office organization and the fabric backed bookcases I customized. Week 5 was my second favorite project: my DIY acrylic calendar! Going into this project I knew I wanted a large wall calendar to organize my ideas and projects. I did a round up of wall calendar ideas and came across a chic lucite calendar on Etsy but it cost over $1,000! For about $30 I was able to do a knock off version. The very last project was the icing on the cake: a DIY FLORAL FABRIC WALL! It completed the room perfectly! Here is my home office reveal:
The project I “skipped” was floor covering. I found a solid rug and planned to do a painted rug tutorial. I’ve decided at this point to leave the rug as is. I may update it later as I intended to, with an orange greek key design around the perimeter. I also planned to do a separate post for the DIY FABRIC WALL, but then this big reveal post would have been anti-climatic! Check out this tutorial for a DIY Floral Fabric Wall.
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Drawer Unit: Alex Drawer Unit/Drop File Storage
Chair: Scout Office Chair
Accent Chair: Prospect Swoop Anywhere Chair
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: DIY Peg board
Week 3: Floor covering and Window Treatment (On hold due to personal issues)
Week 4: Organization
Week 5: Gallery Wall (DIY Acrylic Calendar)
Week 6: The big reveal!
Want even more inspiration? My office space was featured on Shutterfly!
This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser. All opinions are mine. #BigLotsOutdoor #CollectiveBias
Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner! We’ve been working hard to get our backyard and patio ready for the season of grilling and dining al fresco. We revived a dying plant and created a DIY Pineapple Pot for it. We also added DIY patio curtains. One of our favorite things to do is host friends in our home. We have a weekly bible study that meets at our house (we all take turns bringing dinner) and we needed a table to accommodate a large group. We really wanted a big farmhouse table for our covered patio so I searched and searched for plans. I found several that I liked, but ultimately I liked certain parts of different tables. So we decided to draw up plans for our own DIY Farmhouse Table! We were able to get the DIY Farmhouse Table built in a weekend and ready for stain (thanks in large part to our buddy Jeff!) We love this table and have used it many times when we had friends over. It’s perfect for hosting parties on the back patio! We can fit up to about 10 people around it.
Kreg Jig Screws 2 ½ inches in length
2”x4”x8’ wood boards – quantity 15
2”x8”x8’ wood boards – quantity 7
*CLICK HERE for cut list and diagram FREE DOWNLOAD
Put together top surface. Using the Kreg Jig to drill pilot holes for screws (picture 1) attach the Top Planks to Breadboards. Make sure they are spaced evenly. (Pictures 1, 2, 3, 4)
After the flat, top surface is put together, build the frame that it sits on. These are called the Side and End Aprons in the cut sheet and diagram. (Picture 5, 6)
Cut 5 boards (Top Bars) to go across the Top Planks (on the underside of the table top) for reinforcement. Add the 3 in the middle and set the 2 for the ends aside for now as they will be attached to the Legs. (Pictures 7, 8)
Cut 2x4s to length for the Legs (there will be 2 together to make a 4×4 leg). To put them together, first drill pilot holes with an 1/8 inch drill bit. Then in order to hide the screw, use a drill bit that’s larger than the head of your screw. We marked with tape so we knew how far to drill in to create the hole to countersink the screws. Then drill the screws in to put the 2 2×4’s together to create the Legs. (Pictures 9, 10)
Using the same method on the 2 Top Bars you set aside earlier create holes then countersink your screws and connect the Legs to their base. (Pictures 11, 12, 13)
Next, use the Kreg Jig to create pocket holes so you can add the board between the 2 legs on either side of the table. We call these pieces the Outer Base Crossbars. (Picture 14)
Measure and cut the board that will go along the middle of the underside of the table. This is known as the Top Spreader. (Picture 15)
Measure and cut the Spreader and Inner Base Crossbars. You will want to connect the Inner Base Crossbars before attaching the Spreader but make sure they all fit before attaching. (Pictures 16, 18)
Last cuts are the boards the go diagonal on the underside of the table for support (and decoration!). Use a miter saw for these angled cuts and drill pocket holes with the Kreg Jig. We did not cut these the way we had originally planned, and ended up with one “V” instead of two “Xs” as noted in the cut sheet and diagram. (Pictures 17, 18)
The last steps are to sand the entire table, stain, and apply polyurethane to your new DIY Farmhouse Table!
*CLICK HERE for cut list and diagram FREE DOWNLOAD
After the table was built it was time to accessorize! We headed to Big Lots to pick up some table decor and accessories to get ready for an outdoor dinner. We found tons of high-quality lawn and garden decor products that were perfect for our space. I chose some bright turquoise and yellow accessories that are great for summer! The pattered medallion melamine dinner plates went amazingly with bright yellow place mats. The plastic glasses we picked up came in a variety of colors so it will make it easy to tell cups apart when we have guests. I loved that everything was value priced, on trend, and easy to mix and match. We also picked up some serving bowls and platters that will be great when we grill!
One of the things I was most excited about finding were the outdoor lights! Big Lots had a large selection of outdoor lights, and we chose some cool globe lights to string around our patio. I love the mood these lights create and feel like they really completed the look! We also picked up a lantern and some candles. They had several citronella candles so we’ll be able to ward off bugs and keep the party going!
Styles and assortment vary by store.
Is your backyard ready for summer? What outdoor projects do you have on your “to do” list? If you decide to attempt the DIY farmhouse table let me know in the comments below!
What do you do when you need a nightstand but can’t seem to find the right one? You make one! We needed something for the teeny tiny space between the door and the bed in our master bedroom and couldn’t find a table that would fit there. I came home one day and Eric was making his own DIY Nightstand. Figuring out the design took the longest; the actual building can be done in about an hour. Add in the time to sand, stain, and attach hardware and you can still have a new DIY nightstand in one afternoon. Perfect for those hard to fill spaces.
- Spray paint the light base first to give it time to dry.
- Measure your space. We cut the back board to be the same height as our headboard. At 50 inches tall this was the perfect height for the light next to the bed. You should only need one cut on this board.
- After you’ve cut the back board, cut the top 2 shelves. Ours are 7 inch squares. We screwed the top 2 shelves straight in from the back, but attached the bottom with recessed screws using the Kreg Jig.
- The bottom shelf is your anchor. It will be cut to 7 in. x 7 3/4 in. and the back piece sits on top of it. Using the Kreg Jig, create your pocket holes vertically so the back board is attached into the bottom shelf/base board.
- The nightstand is now assembled! Give it a good sanding and stain it to the desired color. Let dry thoroughly.
- Now it is time to drill five holes. Drill a hole about three inches from the top of the back board for the light fixture. This allows the power cord to run up the back side of the nightstand – hidden from plain sight. Drill one hole in each of the two shelves about one inch away from the backboard. The last two holes are drilled under the shelves, through the backboard. These holes allow for phone charging chords to conveniently pop out of the wood right where they are most handy.
- To assemble the light: feed the cord through the light fixture (hopefully your paint is dry now!) then attach the fixture to the back board with the included screws.
- Lastly, screw in your light bulb and plug it in!
When we bought our house this spring we found a potted plant abandoned in the backyard. It had overgrown its container months ago and several of the leaves at the bottom were dead. Oh, and did I mention it attacked you anytime you got near it? The thing had razor sharp points on it and was impossible to move. So for months it sat there. Somehow, even without any love, it lived (the plant that lived – where are my HP fans?). I decided to repot it and give it a new life. It reminded me of a pineapple top so I searched for a yellow pot to make it a new home. Would you know it – I couldn’t find a bright yellow pot anywhere! On a trip to Lowe’s I came across some pots in the clearance section and snagged a large pot for less than $10! With a can a spray paint I made my own yellow pot. I had to call in reinforcements to get the thing moved to the new pot and had to wrap it in a towel to avoid losing an eye, but we did it! We gave an abandoned plant new life with a pineapple pot. It’s an easy DIY you can do yourself with a large or small plant.
I added the white stripes to make it look even more “pinapple-y”. I used some white acrylic paint I had in the craft room, so we will see how it holds up. My new pineapple pot is the perfect companion for my 5 foot flamingo on the back patio!
When we first moved in, the driveway was a major obstacle (literally). I drive an SUV so I had no problems, but Eric drives a car and he and friends had trouble getting in and out of the driveway because of a major drop off. They were constantly scraping front bumpers and we knew this had to be on the top of our new house “to-do” list. It took about 3 hours of mixing and laying the quikrete and about 2 days to harden enough to drive over. This was my first time using quikrete so I’m sharing a few quick tips on using the product – quick tips for Quikrete!
- Don’t mix more than a few bags at a time. The wheelbarrow gets pretty heavy and it only takes a minute or so to mix up a second (or third or fourth) batch. This is especially helpful if you are working on a large area.
- Keep it cool. If you are laying the quikrete in the heat you want to make sure it doesn’t dry too quickly and crack. Spray it lightly with water every couple hours to make sure it hardens evenly.
- Clean up when you are done. Rinse your wheelbarrow and tools immediately after using them. Don’t let the quikrete dry or it’s a pain to get off!
- Use the right tools. Flat face shovel, wheelbarrow, trowel, etc.
- Buy the good stuff. Don’t get the cheapest thing you find if you want it to last; especially in high traffic areas.
- Remove any obstacles. Since this does take time to set, make sure you don’t need to move anything around it. In our case, I didn’t think to move my car out of the driveway before laying the quikrete and had to put boards down to get out of the driveway!
- Keep the bags dry. If you purchase your supplies but aren’t ready to use them, make sure you store the bags where they won’t get wet. We had a couple bags get wet and were able to salvage most of it but it was a pain.
- Wear protective gear. The dust that comes off the quikrete can be really bad for your lungs and eyes. Wear a dusk mask and safety googles.
These tips for Quikrete should help make whatever project you are working on a little bit easier. Don’t make the same mistakes I did! I was a little intimidated at first, but felt pretty awesome after. Plus, slugging quikrete around is a great workout! So get outside and make something.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you’ve gotten some peeks at our new house. For the past few weeks I’ve shared #TransformationTuesday videos so you all can see what this house used to look like. We didn’t do any of the remodeling ourselves – that was done by a team of highly skilled contractors! I’m actually really flattered when people asked if we did it!! I have plenty of plans for fun DIY projects and decorating I want to do but the back breaking remodeling was done prior to us purchasing and moving in.
We had our housewarming party this weekend and it was a GREAT time. Today I’d like to debut the house tour here on the blog! Without further ado, welcome to #OliverHQ:
We were really lucky to find this place. The location is perfect and everything in the house is brand new. The place was taken down to the studs! We are now 100% moved in and have a lengthy “to-do” list to get us settled. We’ve got the appliances purchased and are enjoying doing basic homeowner things like mowing the grass. I’m sure the novelty will wear off and it will feel more like a chore soon, but for now we are enjoying it!
This past month has been really, REALLY busy! We bought our first house! We started looking over a year ago and watching the market. We first met with an agent in August of last year and got a plan in motion since our apartment lease ends June 2015. We came into the process prepared but were still surprised by a lot of things! This post is to share with you what I learned about buying (especially for a first time buyer) when you are looking “in the loop” in Houston.
If you aren’t familiar with Houston, it’s basically divided into 2 circles. “In the loop” is anything inside the 610 circle (the smallest circle around downtown). Without traffic you can get pretty much anywhere in about 15 minutes; double that during rush hour. Then there’s the beltway (Highway 8) that makes a loop around 610. Anything outside of that takes at least 45 minutes to get downtown or anywhere central. Since I work downtown, I really wanted to stay somewhere close. We also have church, Junior League, friends, and other activities that all take place inside the loop. You can guess what that does to property prices. Below is a comparison of some of the options we found when looking for a home in the loop.
*House photos from Zillow.com
I’ve been in Midtown for nearly 3 years. I actually really like living there. I walked to the train to get to work everyday. There are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance. It was the perfect meeting place for friends before going out and central for all the things going on in the city. When we started looking for a house we found that if we didn’t want to be in an apartment but wanted to stay in Midtown, we’d have to purchase a townhouse. The problem in Midtown is we’d have to continue to walk the dog everyday because you can’t get a big back yard down there. This is an example of what we found (we didn’t consider it; WAY too expensive). It is really big though! 3 bed/4 bath 2,455 sqft for $449,900.
A cheaper option for a townhouse in Midtown lacked any style or exciting features. It was very basic and actually pretty small/cramped inside. 3 bed/2.5 bath, 1,330 sqft, and CARPET throughout. Look at that kitchen 🙁 $299,990
Townhouse in the Heights or Downtown
We looked at townhouses in the Heights and one Downtown. The problem with both was parking and green space. The one downtown we considered was in a “gated community”. Sounds great, right? What that actually means (and what we found to be true in the Heights as well) is there’s a gate around a group of 8 or so townhouses that are built with no space between them. It also means there is no parking for guests. We nixed the house downtown despite the location (proximity to work) and nice interior (it was very modern and only about 6 years old). The reasons being we didn’t feel it was safe (deplorable conditions nearby), zero yard for the dog so we’d have to walk where we didn’t feel safe, and there are no grocery stores nearby.
In the Heights we saw a couple of townhouses that look really cute in the pictures. This is why it’s so important to go see the house yourself! When I walked in I could tell immediately this place wouldn’t work. The dining table is in the living room (same as in the downtown townhouse) and it felt SUPER cramped. It felt like an apartment inside. There was a teeny tiny yard but the view over the back fence was PORT O POTTIES. Yes, seriously a storage yard for port o potties. That’s the problem I found with the Heights. You can get some great homes (if you are OK with a townhouse) but you will have pretty much no yard, a tiny cramped street, and god knows what across the street from you. The house below (we actually looked at 2 in the same “gated-community”) is 3 bed, 2.5 baths, 1,464 sqft and $309,900
Single Story in the Heights
The last type of house we looked at was a single story, older home in the Heights. This is another example of how important it is to go look at the property. Pictures are definitely deceiving. I loved this cute little house when I saw it online! The porch was darling and I loved the look of the remodeling they’d done inside. When we actually went and saw it we were shocked. First, the back splash was actually a STICKER- it was not tile at all!! Next, the detached garage was decrepit and that’s where the laundry hook ups were! So you’d have to carry your clothes in the Houston rain across the backyard. Lastly, the neighborhood was not appealing. The houses were very close together, had chain length fences so you could see all the trash piled up in the neighbors yards, and there were cars everywhere on the street since all the driveways were so narrow – and this was in the middle of the day! This house is 3 bedroom, 2 bath, and only 1,300 sqft. It’s cute but not a quality home ($315,000).
We were so lucky to find the house we ended up purchasing. After seeing so many different types of homes (and having many go under contract before we could even view them) we were so excited when we found what ended up being ours. It is technically outside the loop (but only 1 block from 610!) so we are now “loop adjacent”. It’s in an older neighborhood so there are huge oak trees, wide streets, and it has a YARD! We thought that was impossible to find! Look forward to many new posts featuring our new home and fun DIY projects I have planned!